Directed by: David Yates
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Studio: Warner Home Video
Length: 138 mins
Released: 15 June 2009
Cat No: 1000106933
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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Cast: Robert Hardy , Maggie Smith , Robbie Coltrane , Julie Walters , Alan Rickman , Emma Thompson , Michael Gambon , Gary Oldman , Ralph Fiennes , Brendan Gleeson , Imelda Staunton , Daniel Radcliffe , Rupert Grint , Emma Watson , Jason Isaacs , Helena Bonham Carter , Tom Felton
Also available on Blu-ray
The fifth instalment of the hugely popular ’Harry Potter’ franchise. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returns for his fifth year of study at... Read More
In the latest Harry Potter film, the darkest so far, the young wizard finds himself the object of ridicule as nobody believes his account of how Lord Voldemort has ascended. The Ministry of Magic steps in, and soon bureaucracy and authoritarianism start to take hold at Hogwarts, as Harry’s visions of the Dark Lord become ever more threatening.
The diverse range of directors who have worked on the Harry Potter films is one of the most intriguing aspects of the franchise, with Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mama Tambien), Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and now David Yates all turning to the fantasy genre after years making very different work. Yates is best known for his marvellous thriller series State of Play, and his expertise at handling tension makes this one of the stronger films in the series. The film opens with a genuinely chilling dementor attack, and concludes with a spectacular magic battle at the Ministry of Magic, in which the death of a major character is shocking in its unexpectedness. The film moves at an exhilarating pace, effortlessly condensing the longest books in the canon (some 870 pages) into the shortest film thus far.
As always the supporting characters provide much of the fun, and Imelda Staunton delivers a marvellous performance as the insufferable Dolores Umbridge, a slimy harridan with a penchant for kittens and pink smocks. Beneath her smarmy exterior there lurks a heart of ice, however, as Harry finds to his cost during a particularly nasty detention. Helena Bonham Carter also steals scenes as the evil Bellatrix Lestrange, who becomes progressively malevolent as the books continue. Daniel Radcliffe, so unsure in the first film, has now developed into the role, and is a sympathetic, strong protagonist (his training for the lead in Equus clearly paid off), who gets his first screen kiss in one of the more touching scenes. With super performances, jaw-dropping special effects and a welcome sheen of menace darkening the action, this is excellent family viewing, and it will be fascinating to see what Yates makes of the next film of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.